First of all, a couple of photos from last week around a move that I was struggling with before. It’s another drop, but this time one where you let go with your hands. So photo one shows me in a lovely position, one leg on the top bar, the other below and a decent back bend (my lower back is hypermobile but my upper back isn’t. this meant for years I thought I had an unusually stiff upper back). To get in this position, you start out like in the tummy drop video, but only hock your right leg onto the top bar. Your left leg goes through the hoop, you do a pretty bend, bring left leg back and to the side between the hoop and your left arm – then straighten it downwards into that position.
So far, so good. You now straighten that top leg into a beautiful set of the splits… or a clumsy parody thereof, in my case (for now. It will come!). You then slide the leg down and hock on to the lower bar – à la photo 2!
So this is the bit that scares me: let go of the top bar with both hands at the same time and catch the lower bar. The first time I tried this a few weeks before, my mind went “No. No no no. Nope. No way. Nuh uh.” I could just about cope with doing it one hand at a time, but my brain could not get past the letting go thing.
And on this day I did it. Angel was talking me through the moves, reminding me to keep that bottom leg heavy, being calm and gentle and I did it. It was ever so cool and I really can’t see why it was so scary. I don’t really have an ‘after’ shot, so you’ll just have to take my word that it was seriously cool.
Now, some video from yesterday (sorry about the quality, my phone is doing a weird thing where it's either mega-zoomed in or low quality):
I learnt hip lock a few months ago but haven’t really done it since then. I found it difficult because I struggled to get the silk into the right place and would slip down, which is scary. So doing it again, I was surprised how well my muscles remembered what they were doing and how much stronger they have become: I had to do it from the floor before (so less room to slip in!) because I couldn’t invert (turn upside to get onto the silks) without pushing off from the floor before – didn’t know I could do it now, so that was a nice surprise!
There are several things to work on, but the biggest (asides just being tidier and generally better) is to bring my knee up as the silk goes over it: it feels counter-intuitive, but by lifting the knee and holding the silk steady, it slides into the right position and looks much neater. It’s nice to have things to work on and I’m really pleased with my progress.
The sequence here starts with a straddle mount and goes into a starfish – I find the little ‘walk’ into starfish a bit disconcerting because I feel like I might overbalance before I’m in the right position. Watching the video, though, it occurs to me that’s not a problem: my shoulders have enough flexibility I can come off that way without hurting myself. It’ll be frightening and look messy, but not a problem. So next time I’ll try and have less fear.
The sequence is starfish, then pencil, then scorpion, then birds nest, then dismount. Haven’t done scorpion before – not quite sure how to keep my balance as I go into it yet, but that will come with practice.
So yeah, generally pretty pleased with my progress and enjoying moving forward with it. Circus is awesome.